The month in review: Sunshine Coast
By Herron Todd White
The Sunshine Coast property market finished 2014 pretty well with strong sale volumes for the year.
Fundamentals in general appear to be good with the main driving force in the local economy being the continued investment in the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. The market continues to be somewhat inconsistent from sector to sector. One signpost we look at is the rental market. Managing agents report that vacancies remain low with multiple applications for each property and rentals firming.
The highest growth in sale volumes and values has continued in the sub $500,000 housing market which has transitioned into the higher value markets in some areas ($600,000 to $700,000). We believe this will continue with owner occupiers being able to upgrade to more valuable properties. This upgrader market has also been buoyed by the general uplift in the local economy and greater security in their incomes. Investors also remain active. There continues to be concern with limited stock in this sector and affordability. Buyers may have to look further afield at this price level.
The prestige housing market has improved in the entry end of this market (up to $1.5 million). Sale volumes appear to be quite good but as you move into the higher value level bands, buyers thin out. These properties have to have something special as there are a number of buyers who are buying for position with a view to rebuilding what they want. All in all, we believe the higher end market is a bit of a steady as she goes proposition, with some good signs of growth at the entry level.
There has been an increase in sales volumes in the unit market, however this is very much location and property specific. In some sectors, we’re seeing some slight value increases, others flat and others again
showing some declines. Investment units remain tough with high body corporate fees whereas larger permanent living units have fared better. We believe that this will continue and interestingly we note that
there are a number of new projects that are being actively marketed.
When we look at the rural residential market, we still believe that opportunities remain there given the ability to purchase at below replacement cost. We believe that this market will slowly recover.